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Holiday Survival Kit

Are you sick of suffering through your family’s holiday parties with nothing to eat? Does your stomach turn at the thought of the impending carb-fest? Do you watch in disgust as your loved ones put out plates of bread-boat dip, chex mix, cookies, cakes, chips, and crackers with balls of some strange substance resembling cheese? Well fear not health conscious citizen! Now you can bring Primal Smokes new Holiday Survival Kit, available today for just three easy payments of $29.95.

Tell you in-laws to shove that stuffing where it really belongs!

Tell you in-laws to shove that stuffing where it really belongs!

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Random

 

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Smoked Deer Jerky

Do you want to know why I hate the rain? It drives my little fur babies inside where they just sit around and look depressed in between random bouts of tearing up the house.  If I put on Animal Planet the big one is fine, but the munchkin hasn’t quite caught on to watching TV just yet.  I know, I am a terrible parent letting them watch TV all day.

Alas, not Caeser Milan again!

Alas, not Caesar Milan again!

While they have been busy driving me crazy I was making smoked jerky.  My spoiled yuppie dogs would not even eat any raw venison.  If there is anything a dog should like it is freshly killed wild game, but no.  They wanted the nicely seasoned and cooked chicken thighs that were sitting on the counter for lunch.  Spoiled little monsters.  To keep the puppy entertained I just throw a lemon on the floor, which you can see here .  I am not sure if that is for the her entertainment or mine, but this went on for a solid hour before she got bored.  The lemon is like crack to her, she knows it will make her suffer, but she just can’t stay away.

Why do you torture me ma?

Why do you torture me ma?

If you want to make them feel better, you can of course share some deer jerky with them, but first you have to make it.  So, get some mesquite wood soaking and your BBQ set to 175, only use about 1/4 of a chimney full of briquettes.  You want to cook on very very low indirect heat here, because you are just trying to dry the meat, not cook it.  Remember, because the meat is still technically raw, you will want to store your jerky in the fridge.  You don’t have to use deer, any small beef roast or cut of steak will work too, I have not tried this with poultry yet though.

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Cut your meat into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick, it really helps if the meat is slightly frozen.  Put your slices in a bowl with a marinade made from

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB Worcestershire sauce (optional, you can add more salt to the marinade if omitting)
  • 1 TB honey
  • 3/4 TB – 1TB salt
  • 1 TB BBQ rub

Add extra water if needed to cover the meat.  This recipe makes enough marinade for up to 2lbs of meat.  Let it soak up the awesome juice for 1-2 hours, then discard the marinade.  Cover your cooking grate with tin foil and then poke some holes in it to let the smoke through.  This is just a precautionary measure, but I was worried about some of the smaller pieces falling through the grates as they shrunk up a bit.  It is part redneck ingenuity, part BBQ genius.

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The setup

You only need to add smoke in at the beginning, since meat this small cannot continue to pick up smoke flavor through the whole drying process.  Leave the strips on there until they start to look dry and brittle, ours took about 1 hour and 50 minutes.  If you need to add more charcoal, remember to add lit briquettes, as the ones in the smoker will not be hot enough to light them.

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After you are done, let it cool for an hour or so and then dig in.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Barbeque, Game, Snacks

 

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Korean Marinated Baby Backs

I have been such a busy little bee this week, and what is even funnier is that a weeks’ worth of work is all going in to one meal.  Earlier in the week I roasted whole chickens because I needed the carcasses to make broth.  Then I butchered a deer leg into a few roasts and some stew meat.  Finally it is time to throw the whole thing together with some veggies in a big pot of chili-gasm.  Anyone who has ever had my chili is ruined for life, and can no longer stomach the inferior taste of other mediocre chili.  Do you want to experience heaven in a bowl?  Well you can, because I am nice enough to share.

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Bambi

 

I also butchered myself once or twice

I also butchered myself once or twice

Now, I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while, but with two other rib recipes up, I did not want you to think I was a one trick pony; besides…I just didn’t feel like it, so sue me.  This is an incredible non-traditional baby back rib recipe for those of you who are sick of the same old BBQ.  I don’t know why you ever would be, but hey it could happen in some bizzare fantasy land.

korean ribs

Instead of a dry rub, you marinate these ribs for about 24 hours or at least overnight.  For every two slabs of baby backs you will need:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 tB rice wine vinegar, sherry, or dry white wine
  • ½ cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce alternative)
  • 2TB water
  • 3TB honey
  • 2TB siracha
  • One small grated root of fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions. I used the white parts only and saved the tops for garnishing

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Mix this all together and divide it up between the two slabs of ribs and let them soak.  Remove any chunks from the marinade before cooking.  Now, you CAN cook these indoors if you want to, but whatever you do, do not under any circumstances ever boil or steam roast your effing ribs.  Why do we boil bones? Well…to make stock of course, meaning that the flavor ends up in the water and not the meat.  If you love your family you will not serve them boiled ribs.  Just in case you are a new reader, I want to remind you that any grill can be turned into a smoker, except maybe one of those indoor George Foreman contraptions.

Pork Porn

Pork Porn

We experimented with a new method this time, the smoke-and-sear.  Basically, once you wrap your ribs in tin-foil they are done smoking, so you can finish them up over a hot grill in tightly sealed foil for 20-30 minutes, or you can throw them back on the smoker for a couple more hours.  It is up to you to find a method that you prefer.

In case you forgot, we like to cook the ribs between 250-275F, using cherry wood this time, until the ribs reach an internal temp of 170F

Like so...

Like so…

Then we wrap them up in tinfoil and continue to cook them until they reach 190F and feel like they are starting to pull apart from the bone a little.  Here is a more in depth description of rib technique

These seriously rocked my world

These seriously rocked my world

These ribs are infused with a kick ass Korean BBQ flavor and drizzled with a siracha-honey sauce, which is optional but please don’t skip it!

  • 3TB honey
  • 3TB siracha
  • 1TB sesame oil
  • and of course the rest of your green onions for sprinkling

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Want to know what else I have been up to this week? Paleo-fied peanut butter balls, my all time holiday favorite remade with no sugar, almond butter, and home-made chocolate.  Maybe I will share the recipe, or maybe I will just hoard all my dessert recipes so my friends and family are at my mercy, I havent decided yet.

These did not last very long in my house

These did not last very long in my house

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Pork

 

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Michael Symon’s Juicy Thighs

I friggin love Michael Symon! Perhaps it is his fresh and local approach to cooking, or the pork tattoo, but I can’t get enough of the guy.   Super nerdy chef crush!  You can imagine how excited I got when I saw him cooking a dutch-oven kale and chicken thigh dish that I had the ingredients for…well sort of, I have kale and chicken thighs, the details are bit different though.  So I took his basic idea and made my own little dish for dinner tonight.  If you are my husband you are thinking, “ugh, not kale again,” but don’t blame me, blame Michael Symon!  Seriously though Mikey, call me.   You and Lizzy can come over for a BBQ at our place, we’re not weird swingers I swear.

hfLSnJwEyd0l

Put this on your grocery list:

  • Coconut oil- about 3TB
  • 4-8 skin-on chicken thighs, as many as you want or can fit in your dutch oven, I used 4 because it fit my needs tonight.
  • A whole bag or two bunches of kale (I used organic tuscan kale from TJs)
  • Half an onion(You can’t buy half an onion, but figure it out)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 C Balsamic vinegar
  • 2TB water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • a bunch of fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 TB parsley
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • and always add some salt and pepper

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Start by heating up your oven to 375, seasoning up your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and paprika, and heating up your cast iron dutch oven to medium. Yes, I cooked this indoors out of pure laziness…so sue me! Add in your coconut oil and when it gets hot add in your chicken and let it brown on each side.  After you flip your little birdies add in your turmeric and paprika.  This helps them to “open up” and brings out their flavor.  Pull the chicken out of the pot while you start the rest of your meal

Let them hang out while you start the kale

I threw in the onions and garlic and let them start to break down, and simultaneously deglazed the pan with the balsamic and water/broth.  I added in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and let all those kick-ass flavors come out.   Throw your kale in the pot, toss it real well, put the chicken back on top, put your lid on and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until your chicken reaches an internal temp of 180F.

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This one was really tasty!   It can of course be altered for the grill by putting the dutch oven on the indirect side with the kale, searing your chicken thighs over high heat and then adding them in.  Which I will get around to later I just didn’t feel like it that night, so for now we will just bask in Michael Symons awesomeness…or is that shine just the reflection off his head? I can’t quite tell.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Dirty South Clam Chowder

I have some serious anger issues this week, every time I sit down to write it just turns into some pissed off rant about how I am sick of hearing about the health problems of people who do nothing to be healthy.  Yep, that’s right, everyone from back home has serious health problems and when they wash down fast food dinner with a few vodka-redbulls I lose all sympathy.  See, there I go again.  I think I need to just stop talking to people, people make my angry.  I wish I could say that my dogs make me happy today…but it has been non-stop Wrestlemania in my house lately as well.  The champion, weighing in at 100lbs, Captain Kirk; The contender, 30lbs of fury, Sonya Blaze.  Fight!

You know what makes me feel better after a long day of being pissed off at the world? Well…chocolate mostly, but a nice hearty bowl of soup helps too.  New England and Manhattan have their clam chowders…now we have ours.  A spicy, smokey chowder that is full of fall veggies and friggin awesomeness.

You will need:

  • A can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • One tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 1lb of shrimp
  • about 2 dozen clams
  • ¼ cup of butter or coconut oil
  • One bunch kale
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup BBQ rub
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • And a big ass mirepoix( celery, carrots, and onion)

Please don’t ask me to measure that stuff, it was about one bunch celery, 5 carrots, and an onion….it doesn’t have to be perfect…just wing it and chop everything up real well.  I am a “kitchen sink” cook, so I throw in everything I have (except the kitchen sink).  Have turnips lying around, some fresh scallops,chard instead of kale? Great use those.

Ok, no dual-zone fire today, just fire up the whole grill and get it nice and hot.  We are grilling with our dutch oven, so I wrapped the bottom in tin foil to help prevent those lovely soot stains.  Throw all of your veggies in with your fat and let them sauté over direct heat in any covered grill friendly pan (or on the stove if you want to cut corners…I won’t judge). Add a little bit of your broth for moisture as needed.

Throw your clams on the other side of the grill in a small pan with a little water and heat them until they just pop open.  They don’t need to be cooked through 100% because they will finish in the soup.  If you have never cooked clams before, remember to throw out the ones that are open before you cook them and ones that do not open from cooking, it means they might have died.  If you don’t do this you will make me very angry…and you wouldn’t like me when I am angry…

Hulk Smash!

Ok…just kidding.  Anyways, once your clams are done, add your liquids into the pot along with your BBQ rub.  I used a blend of Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom  (very spicy) and Old Bay.  Cover your pot and let everything simmer while you go inside and prep your meat.

Get the clams out of their shells, and get the skin and tails off of your shrimp.  This sounds easy, but it takes time to peel shrimp…this will give your soup time to simmer.  This helps break down some of the starch in the sweet taters and it thickens your soup without having to add any mystery thickening powders.  Add your seafood back into the pot and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or until all the veggies appear cooked and the shrimp turn opaque.  Adjust your seasoning to taste before serving and enjoy!

Holy crap that was delicious.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Seafood, Soups

 

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Our Best Beef Brisket

As everyone starts to get ready for the holidays, I can’t stop thinking about different ways to incorporate more BBQ into our family traditions.  Hell, who says I can’t have ham for thanksgiving with bacon -pumpkin pie for dessert?  And for Christmas….don’t even get me started.

Away in a manger no ham for a bed, our little boy bacon lay down his sweet head

Now, onto the brisket… It is often referred to as the “Holy Grail” of barbeque.  It is a tough cut of meat, that is fatty and gristly, not to mention finicky as hell to cook.  There is a significant amount of collagen in this cut of meat, so it requires a lot cooking to break it down and make it tender.  It is a sad day of smoking when you have to throw out a $120 piece of beef because you messed up.  Luckily, we have already made those mistakes in our quest to cook the perfect brisket, so you wont have to.

You will need:

  • A beef brisket
  • A meat injector
  • Beef stock or broth
  • A foil pan and tinfoil
  • A cooler
  • An old blanket

Derek’s instruction for brisket are as follows(don’t blame me if he rambles a lot):

You ideally want a full “packer” brisket, meaning it includes both the “flat” and the “point”.  You can look it up on the internet to see what I mean.    Purchase at least a USDA Choice cut, if you can find wagyu that is probably the best, brisket is not easy to get from a farmer, as most of them grind it up into chuck.  Many stores do not sell full packer briskets and you might be stuck with just a flat….that is ok though and you can still make delicious brisket.  If you are luck enough to have local butchers like we do, they can probably order you whatever cut you want.  My best brisket has been only a flat, which is what we did here.  Make sure to get an “untrimmed” cut, don’t get one of these pre trimmed cuts where they cut off all the fat.  Take the brisket out and trim the fat off the bottom, leaving only a thin layer of fat.   Any large excess chunks of fat trim off, hey not all cows have time to crossfit, sometimes they need a little help getting rid of their fat, that’s where you come in. 

You do not have to spend a lot of money on one of these, you can get one for about 5$

Next put the brisket in a large aluminum pan (one that fits in your cooker) and inject the brisket with beef stock.  One injection every square inch should do.  People use all kinds of different injections, but I stick with beef stock or broth.  It doesn’t change the flavor of the meat and keeps it moist.   Next, pat down the brisket with a paper towel and apply the rub.  The rub I use is as follows:

  • ¼ coarse ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder (don’t be afraid to go with a little more)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

Don’t forget your apron!

I use a very similar rub for pork products, but put more extra black pepper in…it complements the beef.   A lot of people leave this in the fridge over night, but I don’t see any reason to.  Leave the meat in the pan out and allow it to come to room temp.

Prep your cooker for 275-300 degrees.  I recently switched to apple wood for the majority of my cooking and love it.  Especially since it has ties to Washington state (because Derek thinks that it is the only place on the planet where apple trees grow).  Traditional brisket is mesquite smoked…it is your choice.  If you can only get your cooker to 225 plan on more time.  Brisket is better to get done early and let it rest for longer than take it off and cut in right away, and remember, the meat will continue to cook itself while it rests. 

Insert the probe of your digital thermometer and put the brisket on uncovered in the pan.   Once the brisket reaches 160, depending on size this could be from 3-5 hours, take it off,  spoon the juices over the top of the brisket and wrap the pan closed tight with aluminum foil.  Put it back on and check it in two hours.  When the temp is 205 on the brisket take it off.

Once you check the temp, and it is good, seal the brisket back up in the aluminum pan, wrap it in a blanket and place it in a cooler.  Yes, I said a blanket, like the kind you sleep with, just don’t use the one off of your bed unless you want it to smell like beef.  Hey, it might make for good beefy dreams, up to you.  Let it sit for about two hours all snuggled up in the cooler.  Take it out and tent it with foil on your cutting board while you separate the fat from the juice in the pan.  You can do this with a fat separator or just by putting a bowl of the delicious meat juice in the freezer until the fat on top solidifies enough to scrape it off. Next, thinly slice the brisket, make sure you cut perpendicular to the grain. 

Smoke rings make me happy

Let your brisket slices take a quick bath in the pan juices and serve with your favorite bbq sauce.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Beef

 

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Mesquite Smoked Meatloaf

When my hubby first asked me to make him meatloaf, my mind conjured up images of school lunch abominations glazed with ketchup.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an irrational hatred of ketchup.  I cannot be near it because the smell makes me sick, I cannot eat next to anyone eating it, I can’t even touch it on a dinner plate that I am washing.  No, it does not remind me of blood, which is the idiotic question people always ask.  Blood does not bother me; that gloppy red stuff that Americans put on everything does.  Gross.

Somebody please kill me now!

However, I soon remembered that I am a freaking awesome cook, and I can make meatloaf my b*tch!  Here is a version cooked over smoke and fire, and smothered with delicious BBQ sauce.

No leftovers tonight!

We used:

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 2 TB BBQ rub:  I have been addicted to the ones from Dizzy Pig lately
  • A few sweet potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 TB BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 TB coconut oil or butter (or both if you’re feelin frisky)
  • Mesquite wood, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • A foil pan

Now, the reason we use disposable foil pans so much is that the soot from your grill will destroy your inside pans.  Trust me on this one.  Aluminum is your friend.

Ok, now we all know how to make a meatloaf: whisk eggs, add seasoning, and combine with meat.  This time we are going to add a pureed onion to the mixture to keep it moist, this is essential when doing meatloaf on the grill.  Be sure not to over-mix your meat, just get everything combined fairly well and leave it alone.  An under-worked meatloaf is a happy meatloaf.  Got it?

Form the meat into a loaf-like structure in the middle of your foil pan, cover evenly with BBQ sauce, and put it in the fridge or freezer to set up.  While that is sitting, feel free to light a dual zone fire your grill if you are using charcoal, if you are using gas, there is obviously no reason to start it until you are ready to cook.  While your coals are heating up, chop your sweet taters and the other onion and add them to your meatloaf pan, along with your fat and a bit of water.  Keep the water on hand while you are grilling, as you may need to ass a little bit to your veggies to keep them from drying out.

Ours was done after about 45 minutes, but I like mine a little pink in the middle, you can leave it on for up to an hour depending on your desired doneness.  I source high quality meat, so I am not worried about it being a bit undercooked.

Smoked meat heaven!

After it stands for 5-10 minutes, slice it nice and thick; try not to drool too much on the meat when you see the gorgeous pink smoke ring.  We served ours with a bit of BBQ sauce, and some caramelized onions.

I wanted to eat way too much to bother making this pretty

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Beef

 

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BACON

BACON

No clever title today, no quips, no sensationalization, “bacon” is all I need to say to set this post up for success!  Now, it is really hard for most people to picture foods like bacon, beef, and butter as health food, but if  you are already a convert then I am preaching to the choir.

This past weekend was a perfect time to make a big ass slab of bacon because the chilly weather drove us indoors and left me seeking some rich, warm comfort food.  Which last night meant a delicious pork and potato soup with leeks, bacon, and carrots that did not photograph too well.

For the bacon you will need

  • A big slab of raw pork belly (ours was 2.84lbs)
  • Lots of salt
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Water
  • Disposable foil pans
  • Maple and hickory wood chips

This recipe also takes several days to brine, so it  is best to plan ahead.  First prepare your brine in a disposable foil pan, combine a 2:1 ratio of sweet to salt.  I would say for every pound to use 1/8th cup salt and  ¼ cup syrup or honey.  Vigorously mix your brine with cold water until everything looks fairly dissolved.  It doesn’t have to be perfect you are going to throw this part out anyways.  If your pork has a thick layer of skin on one side you will need to remove that now (home-made pork rinds anyone?)  Throw your pork belly into the brine and fill with more water until it covers the slab of pork completely.  I find that putting a plate on top does a pretty decent job at keeping the pork belly submerged in the brine.

Briney goodness

Here is the not so awesome part.  You have to cover that big porky slab of happiness and leave it in the fridge for 48 hours.  If you plan on smoking your bacon on a Saturday it is best to start the brining process on a Wednesday night.  This is a super easy thing to whip up while you are making dinner.  After your 48 hours is up discard the brine, pat you bacon dry, line the foil pan with some paper towels and put it back in the fridge uncovered for 12 hours to cure.  This will be on Friday night if you are using my time frame.  I know it’s the start of the weekend and you want to party, but try to remember to discard your brine some time in between tequila shots.  Saturday morning your bacon will be ready to throw on the smoker.  You want to use a really low temperature here and lots of smoke. We selected a combo of hickory and maple because while the maple compliments the maple flavor in the brine, hickory just has a more intense flavor.  Try to keep the smoker around 200F, but always keep it under 225F.

We use a grillable thermometer probe to monitor temperature.

After about 2-3 hours it is typically done, if you are monitoring the temperature, I suggest taking it off at around 150F.

The finished product

Now, with all of that said, unless you have a deli style meat slicer in your home (if you do I envy you), you will not be able to get those perfect thin slices that you get pre-packaged in your grocery store, but if you buy your bacon that way the terrorists win.  Plus, even if I had a professional meat slicer, I would probably end up missing a finger or two.  Seriously, I cut myself nearly every time I cook, my husband even keeps a tourniquet in the kitchen (mostly as a sarcastic joke though).  I should have titled this paragraph “how to make sure no one ever eats at your house.”  Thick cut bacon is best cooked on a wire rack over a cookie sheet in the oven, or chopped up and added in to recipes.  So far we have been eating it with…

Chicken-Bacon alfredo

Adapted from the genius mind behind PaleOMG

Also in a beefy breakfast scramble

Holy-friggin-deliciousness!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Bacon, Favorites, Pork

 

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Who Loves Ya Baby Back? Basic Rib Technique and a Holiday Preview

I have been sitting on a rib recipe since Saturday, but I was a little brain-dead from too much vodka at an open-bar wedding on Sunday.   In my hung over state I also had to give the dog a bath and scrub the whole house from top to bottom because little Kirk brought millions of his friends into the house.   Flea-bath and headaches don’t mix, really not fun!  So, now that I have reluctantly de-fleaed the kids and house, it is time to give you the basic rules for ribs.

Amazing ribs are one of the BBQ holy grails.  Like brisket, something that you will not get perfect the first time around, but that’s ok, barbecue takes practice.   Rib recipes are like fingerprints, everyone has them and they are all a little different.  This is not a specific recipe, but instead they are instructions for the novice to follow.  Once you have mastered the basic rib we will get all technical with the fancy recipes!

That beautiful pink hue is the smoke ring! Something you will never get if you take shortcuts!

We started with 2 slabs of pork ribs and carefully cut off the silver skin, also called the “membrane.”  We used hickory smoke for these little piggies, but just about any wood would work here except for mesquite, because it might be too bitter and intense for this particular cut of meat.

mmm membrane

Next we added the rub, which is a bit of a misnomer, because I don’t want you to actually rub it in, so it should be called a pat.  You can use whatever rub you like, or a generous sprinkle of garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, and onion powder will do as well.  Pat your rub onto both sides of the meat really well and let them come to room temp while you start up the smoker.

Ribs are often referred to in Latin as Porkus Maximus

The ideal temperature of the smoker is 225F, but anything under 250F will do.  Once you are up to temp throw your ribs on for approximately three hours, being sure to monitor carefully.  This recipe could be done on a gas grill with a smoker box, or a large charcoal grill with a dual-zone fire and a water pan on the low side.

Once your ribs reach 190F, pull them off the smoker and place each rack in a piece of tinfoil.  Drizzle with a bit(about 2TB) of your favorite BBQ sauce, or mine, and wrap them tightly before placing back on the smoker or the grill. The ribs are ready to eat at this point, but the gristle-y connective tissue hasn’t fully broken down yet, so they need a bit more time.  If you are putting them on your smoker leave them on for another 1-2 hours, or you could expedite this process and throw them on a hot grill for 10-20 minutes, if youre super-duper lazy.  The reason for this is to let the ribs finish cooking without drying out from too much smoke.  Also, it will give the sauce a chance to caramelize into the meat a bit.  This is called the Texas Crutch, but there are many other techniques to experiment with(we will explain the sear and smoke for ya soon!)

The meat should pull off the bone easily, but should NOT under any circumstances just fall right off.  In competition BBQ that is considered a huge freaking failure, because you want the meat to have some “give.” Once they are finished you wont need to add much more sauce, because unlike an indoor(meaning incorrectly) cooked rib, you are tasting the smoke instead of just tasting the sugary sauce concoction that they are smothered in. No pink smoke = no bueno.  Lastly don’t forget to let your ribs rest for about 30 minutes in their foil, as they will be too hot to eat.

We are also practicing for a big holiday coming up…Thanksgrilling.  It is Thanksgiving dinner cooked entirely on the grill! We had a little practice run at some smoked turkey legs, here is a preview

November 22nd is right around the corner!

You better get your technique right before November, because we put a down payment on a pig, and when he gets into our freezer and this website will be a pork-a-palooza!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Pork, Technique

 

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Hail Caesar! King Of The Salad!

Interesting fact about Caesar, it is not actually pronounced see-zar in its native latin.  C for the Romans was pronounced like K and the AE is actually more of an I sound.  This makes the pronunciation sound like the German word kaiser, also meaning emperor.  Isn’t linguistics neat?  Next time you go into a restaurant insist on a Kaiser salad instead!  Or don’t, you really should not give the person who handles your food a hard time, lest you end up with a few pubic hairs mixed in.

Check it out I forgot to take the sticker off my bell pepper

Ok for this simple, yet impressive dish you will need:

  • 2-3 romaine lettuce heads
  • 2 TB dijon mustard
  • 1 t
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 3 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • capers
  • 4 egg yolks
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar or reduction
  • salad fixin’s: I used bell pepper, onion, avocado, basil and hungarian sweet pepper

I started by poking a bunch of holes in my chicken with a fork and marinating them in the dijon, some salt and pepper, garlic powder, and the juice of one lemon. Pop that in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.  Next I soaked a few chunks of alder wood for smoke, then started up the dual zone fire.

By now cooking the chicken should be no difficult feat; sear over direct heat and finish on indirect heat.  While the chicken is finishing(to an internal temp >160F) build your salad.  Rub the heads of romaine with oil and sear them on the grill for a couple of minutes on each side.  Also, lob your lemon in half and put that on the grill, cut side down, until you get a nice char.

Next build your dressing, which is a caesar-style aoli.  Aoli’s take patience grasshopper, add the oil in slowly you must.  I guess that sounded like Yoda crossed with Mr. Myagi, but you get the idea.  Press your garlic and combine it with the juice form one lemon until you get a paste, add in your egg yolks and whisk well until everything is incorporated.  If you do not have an electric beater and are armed with nothing but a lowly wire whisk, I suggest getting a partner and tag-teaming that sh*t like New Age Outlaws in the ring, because your arm is going to get tired.  I added in a very small amount of oil at a time and continued mixing for several minute until everything is incorporated.  I used between 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil, or until you get your desired consistency.  I wanted mine to be really thick so it would coat the lettuce.  At the end I also added between 1-2 T of capers and salt and pepper and mixed well.

A total tanget about the capers, traditional caesar dressing calls for an anchovy or anchovy paste, neither of which I could find at the stores I went to.  If you have these things, then by all means use them, I subbed capers for the briny-salty taste.

Back on track now, toss your chopped up grilled lettuce with the dressing, make a little halo with your salad toppings, leaving a big hole in the middle for a mini meat mountain.  Once you add your chopped chicken, drizzle with the balsamic and top with chopped basil.  A neat little basil chopping trick is to roll a bunch of leaves up like a little cigar and slice, that way you get pretty little ribbons of awesome.

Don’t think I forgot about the grilled lemon, I also squeezed that over top just before I started shoveling huge forkfuls of food into my mouth.

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Chicken, Salad, Sauces

 

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